As reported on biztimes.com written by Molly Dill

A company affiliated with Milwaukee-based Sellars Absorbent Materials Inc. is raising $2.2 million in debt, options, and securities, according to a new SEC filing. The filing indicates Sellars Mezz Debt Investors LLC has so far raised $800,000 from two investors. The round began July 19. Tom Sellars, chairman, and chief executive officer of Sellars Absorbent, said the company has expanded its financing with its banks, and the $2.2 million is part of that financing, to be used for growth capital for expansion. The debt markets are attractive right now, he said.

“It’s general corporate purposes for growth,” Sellars said. He declined to disclose specific growth plans for competitive reasons but said it is unrelated to the company’s upcoming move. The address provided on the filing is 6565 N. 60th St., which is the former Lowe’s store building in the Midtown Center on Milwaukee’s northwest side to which Sellars is moving its operations. Phoenix Investors owns the building and plans to lease it to Sellars, the company announced last month. Tom Sellars said today the company plans to begin moving into the facility later this month.

The 134,000-square-foot building at 5800 W. Hope Ave. has been vacant since the Lowe’s store closed in 2009. Phoenix bought the property in 2016 for $1.5 million. Phoenix planned to make structural and cosmetic upgrades to the building and landscaping to prepare it for Sellars’ distribution operations. Sellars manufacturers shop towels, wet wipes, disposable wipers, and sorbents made with recycled fibers.

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About Phoenix Investors

In 1991, Frank P. Crivello created two private trusts, Irrevocable Children’s Trust and Irrevocable Children’s Trust No.2 (the “Trusts”), for the benefit of his children, Joseph and Anthony Crivello. Later that year, through their majority interest in the First Berkshire Business Trust, the Trusts completed Wall Street’s first single-tenant retail property-backed securitized financing. That transaction, secured by 43 Kmart retail locations and warehouse stores, became a precursor for CMBS structures commonly used over the last twenty-five years.

In 1994, David Marks became a trustee of the Trusts, and Phoenix Investors (“Phoenix”) was created as the management company of the Trusts’ investments. Throughout the 1990s, Phoenix focused on single-tenant arbitrage opportunities available across the country. To this end, Phoenix exploited various market inefficiencies that existed including information inefficiencies, differences in credit perceptions of unrated regional and national tenants, and innovative Wall Street financings, the combination of which produced above-market returns.

From 2002 to the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007, our management team concluded that prevailing real estate opportunities and trends did not meet its disciplined risk/reward analysis. Phoenix suspended new acquisitions of commercial property and instead focused on improving its existing portfolio. Since the Great Recession, Phoenix has aggressively used its experience to source, identify, and harvest unprecedented commercial real estate opportunities. Currently, our focus is on maximizing underappreciated asset classes including Class B and C industrial properties, portfolio and REIT dispositions, and creatively working with corporations, banks, and other institutions on underperforming asset dispositions.

Looking forward, Phoenix will continue applying its disciplined investment strategy to commercial real estate opportunities while implementing new technologies and adding resources.

To successfully identify and execute opportunities in a dynamic and changing marketplace, Phoenix has built a talented team of professionals across all levels of its business, providing them with cutting-edge technology tools, and superior benefits including a highly acclaimed wellness program. The Trust beneficiaries, Joseph and Anthony Crivello, both of whom grew up around Phoenix, are part of its Advisory Board and reflect the next generation of leadership for Phoenix. The Phoenix team has been critical to our achievements to date and will lead Phoenix to new heights in future decades.